AgricultureEconomic DevelopmentNortheast Dairy Innovation Summit April 2024

Join us in April, when dairy farmers, processors, service providers, policy makers, and industry stakeholders from across the Northeast will come together to lead dairy into the next decade.

What does dairy look like in 10 years? We see a future dairy sector where:

  • New systems and strategies lead to increasing profits and farm viability
  • Dairy leads the region on net-zero agriculture
  • Committed, talented people are excited to work across the sector and have access to training and jobs that support their growth

At the Northeast Dairy Innovation Summit, we’ll chart a strategic path forward to a resilient and thriving regional dairy sector.

With session tracks on workforce development, dairy farm innovation, processing expansion, and goat & sheep dairy, we’ll dig into the current challenges and opportunities in the Northeast. Through two days of workshops, conversations, and food, we’ll set a vision for the future of dairy, how we get there successfully, and what we gain when adopt new ideas and practices.

You’ll learn from farmers and processors who are leading the way with strategies that increase profits, build climate resiliency, and expand the dairy workforce. You’ll leave with new ideas to put into action, peer-to-peer connections, and strategies to build a more resilient dairy sector.

Registration is open now, with discounted rates for dairy farmers, processors, and students:

Program and Speakers 

Keynote Speakers:

Agela Abdullah is a Marketing Director, President of the Cheese Culture Coalition, contributing writer for Culture Magazine, and a former cheese buyer. Bringing her experience in the Northeast and Midwest cheese worlds, Agela will open the Summit with a Plenary Panel on building diversity in dairy.

Corey Geiger is an international economist, editor, and author. As the Lead Dairy Economist for CoBank, he provides insight on all elements of the dairy sector. He served as the Managing Editor of Hoard’s Dairyman for 28 years, and currently sits on the Board of Directors for the World Dairy Expo.

Summit Tracks:

Dairy Workforce Development (Tuesday Only)

  • The Dairy Talent Pool is Endless – How Do We Expand It? Plenary panel on opening the door to diverse talent, with Agela Abdullah
  • Building a Workforce Development & Apprenticeship Program for the Region, with Shayna Cohen of KK&P
  • Engaging ESL Speakers in the Dairy Sector: What we gain when we build a multi-Lingual Dairy Community

Dairy Farm Innovation & Resiliency

  • Innovation for all Farms: How smaller farms can utilize and benefit from new technology, a panel led by Jayne Sebright of Center for Dairy Excellence
  • Building Better Technical Assistance: Best practices for relationship-centered TA, and looking at the benefits Dairy Cohorts
  • Innovations in Grazing and Grass-Based Production: strategies to reduce reliance on imported feed and improve ecological outcomes
  • Creating Climate Resiliency on the Farm: how does dairy meet climate goals in the Northeast?

Dairy Processing Expansion & Innovation 

  • Dairy Marketing & Branding: How investing in your business’s consumer builds sales, a panel led by Steve Redmond of Rival Brands
  • Dairy Product Innovation Challenge: what it takes to enter and win a regional competition, panel led by Jenn Smith of Cornell CALS
  • Developing Climate-Friendly Packaging: a panel with NE-DBIC Packaging Innovation grantees Cabot Cooperative, Stonyfield, Big Picture Farm, Jasper Hill, and Vermont Creamery
  • The Community Impacts of a Healthy, Vibrant Processing sector, panel led by Allan Reetz of Hanover Co-op Food Stores

Goat & Sheep Dairy  (Wednesday Only)

  • Goat & Sheep Market Opportunities: what are they, how can we fill them? Panel led by Holly Aker of Local Goods Gathered
  • Small Ruminants are not Small Cows: developing goat and sheep specific resources to grow the small ruminant dairy sector

Information courtesy of the Northeast Dairy Business Innovation Center.